2nd December 2017
St Dunstans Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society
St Dunstan's Parish Centre
Type of Production
Author: Sharon Drummond
This show based on the film White Christmas with wonderful Irving Berlin music is a wonderful piece to produce for the Christmas period. I know this society have wanted to produce this for over a year but due to casting issues had to postpone it. I’m glad to say it was worth the wait.
The sets were lovely and worked well within the scene changes as did the stage crew who worked hard and the Director who had set certain scenes in front of tabs to speed the show. The sound was great with no issues that I could detect and the balance of Orchestra and cast was perfect. On the performance I watched John G Barry conducted the Orchestra and did a very good job. However it was clear that the work by Adam Neild at rehearsals had paid off with some gorgeous harmonies and clear diction on vocals. The props looked authentic and the costumes were absolutely gorgeous for the ladies and looked great for the guys too. The choreography worked well with Marjorie catering to all abilities.
The ensemble chorus worked well and always looked like they were having fun in the full chorus numbers. The supporting roles all filled their parts with ease and no one looked out of place.
Stuart Eade was very commanding as Ralph Sheldrake with a nice warm presence. Paul Sloane and Peter Clough were both very funny in their respective supporting roles. Vicky Palin and Jackie Eade as Rita and Rhoda were great and their flirty comedy worked well.
Noel Hurley as General Waverly worked hard to maintain the double identity of the ex Army General with doting Grandfather. The characterisation was lovely and despite his young age the make up and stance gave the impression of an aging man. Francesca Hignett was lovely as Susan, very talented with great vocals and bags of stage presence.
Stella O'Reilly was utterly brilliant as Martha Watson and for me was the stand out performance of the show. “Let me sing and I’m Happy” was fantastic as was “Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun” with Betty and Judy. Stella’s comic timing worked superbly in this role.
The four leads worked really well together and created lovely characterisations. Brent Andrews was great in the womanising role of Phil Davis. He suited the cheeky chappie role and the reversal of fortunes with Judy played out well. Sue Milligan was lovely as Judy Haynes playing opposite Brent. Her facial expressions as jealous girlfriend were spot on and her vocals were simply beautiful.
Philip Brady put in a great performance as Bob Wallace who is duped by his partner into going to Vermont instead of Florida. The arc in character who is totally not interested to falling in love was played well by Philip. His relationship and chemistry with Deborah O’Connor as Betty was touching and worked really well. Deborah was gorgeous as Betty with super vocals and lovely dance moves to add to the stage presence which shone out from all four leads.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show which was great start to the Christmas period. Well done to the production team on staging such a big show which has stunning numbers and dance routines and to the backstage crew whose hard work paid off to showcase the cast.